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Recipe: Christmas mincemeat

PUBLISHED: 15:20 27 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:59 08 March 2018

Christmas star mince pies with icing sugar dusting (photo: marilyna/123RF)

Christmas star mince pies with icing sugar dusting (photo: marilyna/123RF)

marilyna/123RF

The chef patron and owner of award-winning restaurant Chapter One is getting ahead with his Christmas preparations with a delicious recipe for mincemeat

There’s always an intense build up to Christmas, no matter how hard I try to escape it, I manage to fall right back in the mad rush.

Chapter One is extremely busy around this time, we host countless Christmas parties and as always we’re open for Christmas Day lunch through to New Year’s Day. So for me this time of year is go, go, go!

Naturally, as I’m spending most of my time at the restaurant, this leaves me behind on prepping at home for my Christmas celebrations with family and friends.

It’s now become a running joke with my wife Tanya that I leave shopping right until the last minute, which makes it very stressful to say the least.

By the time Christmas Day finally arrives, I can’t even face standing in the kitchen to cook our family meal; I’m completely exhausted.

A few years back I decided to get organised, well as much as I could anyway. I found it took a lot of pressure off and helped me enjoy the day a lot more. Throughout November I’ll typically make my conserves, chutneys and pickles, as well as my Christmas pudding and mincemeat mixture.

I’ve been asked numerous times why I don’t buy these from the supermarket, without question it would be much easier but the simple answer is a home-made version tastes so much better! If Christmas isn’t the perfect time to indulge a little, then when is?

Our family favourites are fig chutney for the cheeses, damson jam (my son and I pick the fruit near our home, piccalilli, which is the perfect accompaniment for cold meats and tart orange marmalade, a Christmas morning must-have for the kids.

If like me, you’re always trying to keep up at Christmas and find it hard to get it all done, why not prep as much as you can in advance, and I promise you, you’ll have plenty of time on the day to take it easy and enjoy a well-earned break.

This month’s recipe is a mincemeat mixture, so simple and so tasty. You can make the mincemeat now and it will keep for months in a sealed jar.

Christmas mincemeat recipe

Ingredients (makes approx. 1.4k)

175g currants

175g raisins

175g sultanas

175g cranberries

100g mixed peel

50g chopped almonds

1 cooking apple, chopped

Juice and zest of 1 orange

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

125g suet or butter

Grated nutmeg

2 teaspoons of mixed spice

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

200g soft dark brown sugar

200ml Brandy, Rum or Sherry

Method

Combine all ingredients except the alcohol, stirring well. Cover and leave the mixture overnight.

Bake in a low oven 100ºC for one hour.

Leave to cool. Stir in the alcohol and put into sterilised jar. Store in cool dark place until needed.

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